Saturday, October 27, 2012

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 1 Operation Floor Videos (Including Full-Length)

For those of you for whom the 2-minute digest would suffice, here it is, while I download the 1-hour version.

Again, the balloon flying operation to peek at the operation floor (5th floor) of Reactor 1 at Fukushima I Nuke Plant had failed once in August, and on October 24, Hitachi and TEPCO workers managed to fly a modified balloon to get past an obstacle that had foiled their previous attempt.

I still wish they did the untethered drones instead, so that we get to see parts not close to the shaft in more details.

When a hydrogen explosion happened in the Reactor 1 building on March 12, 2011, the wall panels of the operation floor of Reactor 1 blew out (as they should), and the ceiling collapsed (as it shouldn't).

Here's the digest version, from TEPCO's Photos and Videos (10/25/2012):

Full-length (to be uploaded):


(2/2, very short, the balloon starts to descend)

**CAUTION** to those of you who are downloading from TEPCO's Photos and Videos page:

Starting sometime in early October, TEPCO restricts the time period to make any full version of the videos that they take to only one week. The longer version of this balloon video, which I'm downloading right now, is available only up to November 1st. I already missed downloading the video of the Reactor 1 Containment Vessel probe video.

Some transparency and openness after the takeover by the national government.


Atomfritz said...

This video is highly interesting for some reasons.

It is in full 1080x1920 resolution, not scaled down to 240p as Tepco usually did to make recognizing any detail difficult.

It reveals the real damage on #1, unlike the low-res photos and videos formerly released, which are of so low detail that one might think that the operating floor of #1 is just empty, almost void of any debris.

And it shows that the tent built over #1 is indeed effective in preventing the debris rust away that rapidly as observed at #3. On the other hand, the tent probably has to be lifted when #1 finally gets to be cleaned up like #4 and #3 to gain access to the SFP.

Apparently a consumer grade camera sensor has been used, judging from the heavy radiation dotting at a such low radiation field of only 30-50 millisieverts. So I think it would be not a big issue to use drones, provided their chips get protected by a thin layer of protective coating, like every chip containing DRAM memory in personal computers is being covered to effectively prevent/reduce bit errors due to cosmic radiation.

Remember, cosmic gamma photons have energies up to the range of TeV, millions to billions times higher than the keV to MeV range of mere nuclear decay gamma photons. This is somewhat like comparing an artillery shell impact with an air gun projectile impact. So, I don't believe that if it is possible to operate Mars rovers, it would be impossible to operate Fuku drones.

So I have difficulties to believe that it is really impossible to protect drone electronics from low radiation (except camera chips, of course, which cannot easily be covered by a protective layer).

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

They could have flown a bunch of drones that they can buy in Akihabara or at Amazon for less than $300. If several fail, so what. But for TEPCO, it was clearly deemed cheaper to use a balloon and a lot of human workers close on the scene. Hate to think what the radiation level was on the 1st floor.

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